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Middle Age Miles

Earn Extra Miles with Airline Shopping Portal Back-to-School Bonuses – Alaska, American, Southwest & United

airline shopping portal bonus back-to-school alaska mileage plan american aadvantage southwest rapid rewards united mileageplus mileage plus giftcards.com

Four of the largest domestic airlines are offering back-to-school bonus mile promotions through their shopping portals for the next few weeks. We never want to leave miles on the table, so take a look at these offers for your upcoming back-to-school or other online shopping!

Let’s take a quick look at each airline’s bonus offer:

Alaska

The Alaska Mileage Plan shopping portal has the following bonus offer, from now through August 11, 2019 (note that Alaska’s offer expires a week earlier than the others discussed in this article):

  • 300 bonus miles when you spend $150 (2x extra miles)
  • 750 bonus miles when you spend $300 (2.5x extra miles)
  • 1,500 bonus miles when you spend $500 (3x extra miles)

At our baseline value of 1.5 cents per Alaska mile, this promotion gives you an opportunity to earn up to an extra 4.5% in points rebates by going through the Alaska portal and spending exactly $500.

American

The American AAdvantage shopping portal has the following bonus offer, from now through August 18, 2019:

  • 500 bonus miles when you spend $150 (3.3x extra miles)
  • 1,000 bonus miles when you spend $300 (3.3x extra miles)
  • 2,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 (4x extra miles)

At our baseline value of 1.25 cents per AA mile, this promotion gives you the opportunity to earn up to an extra 5% in points rebates by going through the AA portal and spending exactly $500.

Southwest

The Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal has the following bonus offer, from now through August 18, 2019:

  • 250 bonus points when you spend $125 (2x extra points)
  • 900 bonus points when you spend $300 (3x extra points)
  • 2,000 bonus points when you spend $550 (3.6x extra points)

At our baseline value of 1.3 cents per Rapid Rewards point, this promotion gives you the opportunity to earn up to an extra 4.7% in points rebates by going through the Southwest portal and spending exactly $550.

United

The United MileagePlus shopping portal has the following bonus offer, from now through August 18, 2019:

  • 500 bonus miles when you spend $150 (3.3x extra miles)
  • 1,500 bonus miles when you spend $350 (4.3x extra miles)
  • 2,500 bonus miles when you spend $600 (4.2x extra miles)

At our baseline value of 1.4 cents per United mile, this promotion gives you the opportunity to earn up to an extra 6% in points rebates by going through the United portal and spending exactly $350. At the higher level of $600 in spend, the extra points rebate is 5.8%.

Strategy Considerations for All Offers

Note that all of these offers are in addition to the normal miles-earning from each merchant. Many individual merchants are also running increased miles-earning offers during this back-to-school season, so there are opportunities to stack the increased offers with the portal bonuses to earn even more miles for your travels!

For pointers on using shopping portals in general, see our Resource article:

Given our recent efforts to acquire and liquidate gift cards in connection with our Manufactured Spend Data Points series, we’ve been watching for gift card opportunities. One thing to note in connection with these airline shopping portal offers is that GiftCards.com participates in all 4 of the portals running these current bonus offers. Here is today’s listing from Cashback Monitor of the earning rates for purchases from GiftCards.com:

Do the new bonus offers, in connection with regular portal earning and credit card rewards, create opportunities for profitable MS? Possibly so, at least on a smallish scale. We’ll certainly be taking a closer look to strategize!

Will you be taking advantage of any of these back-to-school airline shopping portal offers? Will you use them for any profitable MS opportunities? Please let us know in the Comments!


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